1.2.2 Theory of Unbalanced Growth

Contrary to the theory of balanced growth, in Hirschman's opinion, the real bottleneck is not the shortage of capital, but lack of entrepreneurial abilities. Potential entrepreneurs are hindered in their decision-making by institutional factors: either group considerations play a -great role and hinder the potential entrepreneur, or entrepreneurs aim at personal gains at the cost of others and are thus equally detrimental to development. In view of the lack of enterpreneurial abilities there is a need for a mechanism of incentive and pressure which will automatically result in the required decisions. According to Hirschman, not a balanced growth should be aimed at, but rather existing imbalances— whose symptoms are profit and losses—must be maintained. Investments should not be spread evenly but concentrated in such projects in which they cause additional investments because of their backward and forward linkages without being too demanding on entrepreneurial abilities. Manufacturing industries and import substitutions are relevant examples. These first investments initiate further investments which are made by less qualified entrepreneurs. Thus, the strategy overcomes the bottleneck of entrepreneurial ability. The theory gives no hints as to how the attitude of entrepreneurs and their institutional influence will be changed in time.